Monthly Archives: January 2012

They’re My Lobster

If you have ever been to a Red Lobster, you will fully understand why, yesterday, I broke the diet I have been so dutifully following. One word: biscuits.

If you have never had the pleasure of visiting a Red Lobster, you have my heartfelt condolences. I can’t bear seafood (aka Spiders of the Sea), so I’ve avoided the place since I moved here, but  yesterday was Dad-in-Law’s birthday and, consequently, I was dragged, kicking and screaming, into a restaurant full of fish. And thus began my voyage of biscuit-based discovery.


I’ve been told about these things, I’ve seen pictures of these things, they’ve been used in an effort to tempt me into the building full of sea-spiders. I even, knowing they’re a family favourite, gave making them several goes under the instruction of my copycat restaurant recipe book. I was quite pleased with the results at the time, but I laugh in the face of their doughy, gooey, garlicky cheesiness now, having tasted the real thing.

I don’t understand. I simply don’t understand how they make them so fluffy they fall apart in your mouth once you’ve bitten through the wonderful crust. I am ruined, no other biscuit (or scone, if one is using proper language) will ever again satisfy. Worst of all? It’s a 100-mile drive to the nearest Red Lobster. Life, why do you hate me so?




All Together Now: Poh-tay-toh

For the third time since we reappeared from the other side of the pond, Hubby was last night accused of having developed “a bit of an accent”. Not just any old accent, either: he’s rolling his vowels and curling his r’s like a proper southern yokel.

A yokel, yesterday

I know why it’s happened: he spent (another) fortnight immersed in the joyous surrounds of Southern England, where the accent is more pervasive than I ever thought possible. I didn’t realise I had a Dorset twang, rather than the posh totty BBC English voice with which I always imagined myself to be speaking, until I heard a recent recording of myself. It was a distressing moment, during which I was forced to come to terms with the fact that I do not have the dulcet tones required of a Radio 4 presenter, and that my yokel-ness has, if anything, strengthened since I left the country.

Furthermore, we’ve developed an addiction to Doc Martin since we returned home. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s about an incredibly grumpy London surgeon who develops a fear of blood and is forced to demote himself to GP for a West Country village. It’s full of delightful accents and adorable old people.

Near some yokels, yesterday

We’ve also been avidly watching Downton Abbey, now available (thank the heavens) on Netflix, which explains why he’s dropping such phrases as “ship-shape in Bristol fashion” into everyday conversation. This is not a saying that ever made it over the oceans and is only going to confuse his fellow countrymen.

Interesting fact for the day (courtesy of my informational powerhouse of a father): the phrase refers to Bristol harbour, which has been one of England’s most important ports for a thousand years. The port is up the River Avon and has one of the most variable tides in the world, changing daily by up to 30m, and, when the tide is low, ships tend to get a bit beached. Consequently, until the Floating Harbour was invented, ships using the port needed to be well-made and sturdy and their cargo had to be securely stowed.

Hubby’s opinion of the matter is that he’s leeching my accent from me, to be helpful. A couple more trips back to England and he’ll be wearing a flatcap and wittering about poh-tay-tohs, and I’ll be calling everyone sons of bitches and forgetting how to make a cup of tea.

So is it mainly fairies and princesses?

Yesterday we celebrated our fourth Christmas of the year. An excessive number by any cultural standard, but in our case they were a necessary evil: we spent the actual day in England, with my familial bits and pieces, which meant that we were legally required to repeat the process with Hubby’s matching set upon our return.

We had no choice but to also schedule in our own, private Christmas morning, because otherwise we couldn’t have dedicated a morning to the celebration of toys and candy, and, yesterday, we started all over again with my sister-in-law and her family.

This particular branch of my new hoarde of family members includes my 7-year-old niece, of whom I am uncompromisingly fond. We found some excellent gifts for her while we were in England, but nothing to compare to the goodie bag my mother put together. One suspects she is yearning for grandchildren.

A vial of fairy dust, Disney princess eau de toilette, a tiara emblazoned with the word “Princess”, a crown pendant on a golden necklace, bubbles with fairy artwork on the bottle… these, and many more, were stuffed lovingly into her gift bag. It was awesome, and I was inappropriately jealous.

Several hours after opening her presents, my niece wandered over to me, tiara a bit cock-eyed and eye-wateringly overscented with child-friendly perfume. “So, in England,” she enquired, matter-of-factly, “Is it mainly fairies and princesses?”

“Kate Middleton and Graham Norton,” whispered my husband, without missing a beat, and, for a moment there, my pride in his cultural immersion almost overwhelmed his point.

“Yes,” I replied, upon consideration. “In England, that’s almost all we have.”

The Mad Dog

I think this particular contender has earned her place as the eponymous Mad Dog of this blog. Whatsay?

A Good Time for a Resolution

It’s the new year, as you might have noticed, and I’m told that’s an excellent time for a resolution. I decided, while suffering from “being on a plane”, 15 hours into a 24-hour journey back from England, having not slept for almost two days, with my arse wedged into the least comfortable seat in airline history (an achievement in itself), that mine shall be thus:

I shall hereby cease to be a lazy blogger.

The first person to mention that I’ve waited until halfway through the month to begin my resolution, which is very lazy of me, gets one of those annoying party whistles up the nose.

Resolution 2: I shall hereby begin using American grammar and spellings. Not quite yet, though. Soon. Maybe in the next post. I’m still partly convinced that, if I can only sneak in a few extra vowels and properly placed commas now and then, I can infect the United States with Proper Grammar. My editor at the newspaper has yet to agree, but that’s a minor obstacle.

Resolution 3: I shall hereby learn to properly use the spanking new camera we returned from England with and cease posting shots of a blurred cat on an indeterminate surface. Just as soon as I’ve finished reading the instruction manual and have worked out what the difference between setting P and setting S is.


See? You can totally tell she’s sat on Hubby’s work bench. You just probably don’t care.

I am resolute and determined… bring on the year.